Tilapia production project in the Cordilleras tackled

A joint consultative meeting in connection with packaging of project proposal on the Culture of cold-tolerant tilapia in skyponds was conducted recently.

Held at the Benguet State University (BSU), the meeting was attended by the team of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division (IARRD) of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Officials of BSU and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources–Cordillera Administrative Region (BFAR-CAR) also attended the meeting where potential fisheries projects for implementation in the Cordilleras were identified. 

“While tilapia is one of the priority research species identified by the consortium, we are, however, hindered by the lack of expertise in handling research and development activities in fisheries,” Dr. Jocelyn C. Perez of BSU said. 

“The partnership among PCAARRD, BSU, BFAR-CAR, and other SUCs in the region is, therefore, a welcome opportunity towards improving the R&D capabilities of the aquatic resources sector in the region,” she added.
Dr. Ruth C. Diego, another BSU researcher, added that tilapia culture technology is available in the region. There is a need though, to help fishfarmers adopt the proper culture management and techniques.

“Fishfarmers are now learning to culture tilapia in the area through the assistance of BSU, BFAR-CAR, and other fisheries experts in the Cordilleras, Diego added.  

Dr. Norida P. Samson, PCAARRD Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) Manager for Tilapia, presented the Tilapia Industry Strategic S&T Program, while Dr. Dalisay DG. Fernandez, IARRD Director, discussed the rationale and objectives of the tilapia commodity packaging and its deliverables, among others. 
The meeting also gave way to the conceptualization of a project titled, Sustainable Nile Tilapia Strains in Cordilleras Amidst Climate Change.

Abra State Institute of Science and Technology (ASIST), Ifugao State University (IfSU), Mt. Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC), Apayao State College of Science and Technology (ASCST), Kalinga State University (KSU), and BSU were identified to work on the project.

The project proposal will be submitted for evaluation and possible funding of PCAARRD.

Dr. Ruth C. Diego, Director of the Agribased Technology Business Incubator/Innovation Center (ATBI/IC) of BSU, in a visit of IARRD official and staff following the meeting, also expressed intentions to develop a proposal on aquaponics where tilapia and dojo will be grown to marketable size.

The PCAARRD team also visited the office of the BFAR-CAR where a program on tilapia production for stock enhancement and dispersal of fry/fingerlings within the region is being done.

The project on selection of the best tilapia strains in the Cordilleras hopes to increase production to address people’s protein requirement in the highland.